Really, it's August already? Time for the annual, "What we're using this year post." This summer seems to have flown by, but it is that time to start buying the new index cards, planners, binders etc... and gear up!
Once again our year will be different. It seems like I say that almost every year, especially the last 4-5. We keep losing students (to graduation, it's a good thing!) and situations keep changing as they get older as well. This year Ariel my 3rd will be starting early college at Bethel with their REACH program. So I keep saying instead of "homeschooling" we'll be "bethelschooling" as she doesn't have a drivers license so Lex and I will probably be frequent visitors to the Bethel library to get Lexie's school done! Not much of our "home" school will actually be done at home this year I'm afraid.
So anyhow...here's what we'll be doing, wherever it is we'll be doing it!
English- Of course we're using Total Language Plus again for Lexie. This year we're doing The Hiding Place and Around the World in 80 days to compliment our history studies. Both of these guides have great paper and project ideas that will go well with our modern history study. With writing cases and speeches for Speech and Debate we've found that 3 Total Language Plus guides makes a solid year of English for us. So the third guide which I've also used for my other 3 is The Giver. For us, this is a must do. It is so timely with papers on careers and dating/marriage.
Ariel has been a year or two ahead in English so she may not do any "curriculum" but rather do some CLEP testing. She will probably study and clep out of Composition 101 as we checked and Bethel does accept that CLEP. We were originally thinking of doing Total Language Plus American Literature Poetry or Short Stories and then studying for the Analyzing Literature CLEP but Bethel doesn't accept this one so we may go a different route. It might be we CLEP composition for the 1st term and then she can take Composition 102 the second term, we'll see how the year goes. She really doesn't "need" more English or literature so we're not worried which is the beauty of homeschooling!
History- That bring us to our modern history study. We are very excited to be using the BRAND new Mystery of History IV! It was just pre-released and we don't actually have the book yet though we do have a pdf of the 1st quarter. Over the years we've done books 1, 2 and 3 of MOH twice but have had to piece some other things together to cover American and Modern World. I'm very excited to instead this time through have it all pieced for us! I'll do a separate blog soon just on this as I just finished our 1st quarter syllabus.
Science- This year the girls are splitting in different directions for the first time with their science studies. Lexie is VERY excited about doing a Pre-Med study put out my Master Books. It contains 4 separate books with study questions and quizzes. The books are: The Genesis of Germs, The History of medicine, Building Blocks of Life Science and Body by Design. We are going to add a few "labs" with it that are not included in the text just because she likes doing them. I'll also probably do a another blog on this soon outlining our plans including the added labs. She's doing this one largely "on her own" for the first time though I will help her outline the labs and cave in and read aloud to her at times (she prefers that.)
Ariel will be doing Signs and Season Astronomy which I have already blogged some about, and will probably share our co-op schedule and syllabus to help others that may want to incorporate this into a group setting. She's not my traditional "science" kid and wanted something different than your biology, chemistry, physics kind of schedule. I think this will be a science she'll like, remember and actually find useful in life. I'm excited to learn it with the kids as I teach it for our co-op.
Math- The girls have been on separate paths here for awhile now and that will continue. Ariel will be finishing her "last" year of high school math. She is not a math child so we are counting financial accounting as her "math" for the year. We're using Professor in a Box Financial Accounting which we'd also used for one of her brothers and her other brother used parts of it to prep for the CLEP accounting test. She may also end up doing whatever she needs to to pass easiest college math she can find in the spring if we can work it into her schedule. They have free tutoring and she talked to another Art major that claimed she was also terrible and math and did it so that encouraged Ariel greatly!
Lexie really needs an easier math year this year as last year was a not successful switch of curriculum that left her doubting her math capabilities. Up until then she always felt she was good at math. My goal is this year to re-instate that good feeling for her. We are using Understanding Geometry from the Critical Thinking Company. It is a high school course, but not an overwhelming one. I think she'll enjoy it and find it "easy" which is my goal this year.
Electives- This year it looks like Ariel will be doing Art electives. She's hoping to take Art History and either Graphic Design or Photography at Bethel College. We won't find out for another week or so if she can get into those classes but that is the current plan. She'll also take Art (mostly drawing) at our co-op. She has decided she wants to be an Art major (probably studio art) and wants a bachelors in case she decides to go on for further study in another area.
Lexie wanted to do cooking at the co-op so I am teaching a class. We are using some of the Homestead Blessing DVD's and teaching things like canning, pressure canning, bread baking and more advanced cooking techniques. It should be a lot of fun but also a challenge to fit the cooking into a one hour co-op class!
Of course we'll do Speech and Debate again. They are especially excited about and planning their speeches for the fall. Both of them would like to qualify regionally at least. Though Ariel loves debate she's not so excited about the resolution this year, but hopefully that will change as the season begins. We compete with NCFCA but are looking into other options as NCFCA doubled in registration this year which was disheartening. The girls have met many friends with NCFCA and don't want to leave them however, so we will probably stay.
The girls also both need their P.E. credit and though Ariel has already done her life-guarding for part of it we may try to get a volleyball team going this fall to finish it off. We are in process of working out the details on that one.
Besides that, who knows? Something else always comes up. They both got to participate in a musical this summer and loved it. I suspect if we have openings in the spring co-op schedule they'll be wanting a drama class. We'll see what opportunities God brings our way.
So if you're interested in some of the above mentioned curriculum watch the blog for future posts as I'm likely to update how we're preparing and how we're liking our choices.